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GiftWorks 2015 - Processing Recurring Donations

GiftWorks 2015 includes a new feature which builds upon the previously released recurring donations functionality. Instead of just tracking recurring donation profiles for your donors, you can now use built in tools to easily create donations in GiftWorks based on the donors schedule of giving. Even more, you can also store credit card information for your donors and then actually process the donations using the donors credit card on a daily, weekly, monthly, annual, etc. period to ensure that you are getting the donations on a regular schedule.

The History of Recurring Donations

In GiftWorks 2014, we added the ability to track recurring donations for your donors within GiftWorks. This feature is especially helpful for those organizations who track a significant number of monthly, quarterly, annual gifts, etc. and want to report and analyze their recurring giving. For a donor, you add a recurring profile which includes the amount, frequency, start date, end date (optional), payment type, and other relevant information about the recurring gift.

Setting up a recurring giving profile

When you add a recurring profile, it will appear on the donors donation tab.

Donors Donations Tab

A Recurring Profile Report

The shortcoming of the recurring profile feature in GiftWorks 2014 is that it only stores the definition of the recurring gift - it does not actually create donations or process a transaction (charge a credit card). Until now.

Processing Recurring Donations

GiftWorks 2015 includes the ability to take your recurring profiles, create a donation in GiftWorks (or receive a pledge payment), and process a credit card transaction for them (if credit card information was provided). Note: Credit card processing is not required to use this feature. You can simply create donations from recurring donation profiles setup for your donor. This can be especially helpful if you process scheduled donations (monthly, etc.) using an outside solution and want to create the donations or receive pledge payments inside of GiftWorks quickly and easily.

If you would like to process recurring donations using a donors credit card, youll need a couple things configured.

First, youll need to choose a service to process your transactions. With GiftWorks 2015, you can either choose:

  • FirstGiving - aggregated payments - no monthly fee and low transaction fees. You will receive a deposit of your funds electronically once per week.
  • FrontStreams FastTransact Payment Platform - direct funding - a low monthly fee and low transactions fees. Deposit of funds occurs within 12-24 hours.

Either service can be used to process recurring transactions and can be setup in the Settings area of GiftWorks.

Settings Area of GiftWorks

Choose Either FirstGiving or FastTransact

In the following example, we will use the FirstGiving service to process the recurring donations. The following screens show the basic setup of FirstGiving.

Search for and Select Your Charity Name

Agree to the Terms and Conditions

If you are interested in additional FirstGiving functionality, you can create a free FirstGiving account. For the purpose of this article, we will use the minimal setup needed to process recurring donations. Once the setup is completed with the FrontStream service you chose, you may now set up recurring donations for your donors. Lets go back to a donors donation tab and click the Recurring Profiles subtab and click the Add a New Recurring Profile link or left menu option.

Recurring Profiles Subtab

When adding a recurring profile, choose the payment type FirstGiving Credit Card to alert GiftWorks that you would like to store credit card information for processing future transactions (if you had chosen FastTransact, you will want to choose FastTransact Credit Card).

Add a Recurring Profile

To enter the credit card information, click the Add Credit Card link. This will take you to the next screen to enter the credit card details. Keep in mind that you must be connected to the Internet to enter the credit card information.

Enter Credit Card Information

After entering the credit card information, click the blue Save Credit Card button. (This information is being collected safely and securely and is not being stored on your computer or anywhere locally. This information is being stored on our PCI Level 1 compliant systems) After the credit card is stored, you will be returned to the recurring profile screen but with information indicating that a credit card has been stored. Due to PCI compliance issues, you will only be able to see the credit card type (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc.), the expiration month and year, and the last four digits of the credit card number.

Recurring Profile with Credit Card Information

Now that the credit card information is stored with this recurring profile, we can actually process a donation. In the above recurring profile, it is a monthly gift, starting on 8/26/2014 for $25 and has no stated end date (meaning this gift will be processed every month until the profile is inactivated or deleted). When you have many recurring profiles setup for your donors with credit card information, you will need to ensure that youre processing these donations on a regular basis. It is likely that you will want to review your recurring profiles daily to ensure that no donations are missed. When recurring donations are due to be processed, you will receive a reminder on the Home Page in the Reminders section. If you do not see the Reminders area on your Home Page, click the Customize link on the left menu.

Home Page Reminders

When you want to process recurring donations, you can either click the Process Recurring Profiles link on the Home Page reminder, or you can go to the Settings area, click on Tools, Updates, and Integration, and then click on Process Recurring Donation Profiles.

Process Recurring Profiles Page

Take notice of a few things on the Process Recurring Profiles Page:

  • Credit card processing is not required to use this feature. You can simply create donations from recurring donation profiles setup for your donor. This can be especially helpful if you process scheduled donations (monthly, etc.) using an outside source and want to create the donations inside of GiftWorks quickly and easily.
  • GiftWorks will include all recurring donations that are due to be processed (see the recurring profile above for Franklin Poolman).
  • GiftWorks will search for payments that need to be applied to outstanding pledges (see the recurring profile above for Ajax Corporation). GiftWorks will search for pledge payments for the specific donor with a matching payment amount.
  • There are a number of options to control the recurring profile processing including setting the date attributed to the donations created in GiftWorks, matching to outstanding pledges, and turning off all credit card processing.
  • You can also filter the recurring donation profiles that appear in the list by title, frequency, or payment type.
  • A warning will be displayed at the top if there are any expired credit cards.

After checking the recurring profiles you want to process, click the Process Recurring Profiles button.

Choose Recurring Profiles

Processing Recurring Donation Profiles

After the processing is complete, the Information column will contain the results of the processing. If there were any problems with processing the donation, it will appear in that column. There is also a Summary box that appears at the bottom of the screen and contains helpful information about the processing of the donations. We hope this GiftWorks 2015 feature provides you the tools you need to not only track your recurring donations but also the benefit of ensuring that your donations are processed, the transactions are made, and all donations are able to be tracked within GiftWorks.

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